When Ema Edosio’s Kasala was introduced at the 8th Edition of the Lights Camera Action Film Festival as the opening film, it was met with the thin claps that are almost a characteristic of Lagos gatherings. However, when the founder of the festival, Ugonma Adegoke added that the movie was the first time a production by a female director was opening the festival, there were more hands and mentions of “girls running the world” from the audience. At the end of the 90 minutes film, there were more hands and even a standing ovation that left Ema very emotional and short of words.
Kasala is the story of four boys, TJ, Chikodi, Abraham, and Effiong, each of them with different personalities, but united by the bonds of friendship. They’re young, faced with problems as with almost all of us, but still try to find ways to have fun in their slum neighborhood nonetheless. A local party is what brings them together in the movie, with items that belong to them and those that do not, because you know, you somehow have to be cool even if na borrow pose. As you may have guessed, things do not generally go well and they’re in kasala as the typical Nigerian would describe it. What transpires in that one day is what makes up all of the movie, and makes it what it is – an absolute comedic delight.
Kasala stands out in so many ways, a lot different than your typical Nigerian movie. First, the location makes the project as real as it gets. If the recent discussions on social media are anything to go by, Nigerian film watchers are tired of seeing people who live in high brow areas and drive fancy cars even while being broke and unable to afford food on their table. Kasala does justice to this, setting up in the dirty slums of Surulere and making it as real as real goes.
The casting for the movie is also responsible for making the movie what it is. The boys, played by Emeka Nwagbaraocha, Tomiwa Tegbe, Mike Afolarin, and Chimezie Imo show great promise from start to finish. And if you’re wondering where you’ve seen them before, they’re on some of your favorite TV shows. They’re joined by the likes of popular names like Gabriel Afolayan, Jide Kosoko, Abiodun Kassim, Judith Audu and Sambasa Nzeribe, who bring their versatility to the movie and make it what it is.
Above all, the storytelling in Kasala is undoubtedly the best thing about it. It’s a comedy and a lot of times, comedic films have a problem with balancing the humor and the drama. More often than not, you end up cracking the same joke over and over again, with the audience waiting for the closing scenes to see how it ends up. This is not the same as Kasala. From start to finish, you’re taken on a progression of what led to what and how things transpired. My only problem with this is the sexual exploitation that’s left hanging and hoping that whoever watches it makes a decent meaning of what it’s supposed to be. Apart from that, it should be what a host of Nigerian films aim to be.
Friendship is everything and Kasala has its way of showing that in little or no time. Dare I say, it’s one of the best Nigerian movies you’d see in the cinemas this year. It’s funny, you’re eager to see what happens from start to finish and you won’t regret your time or money.
It opens in the cinemas on October 12th and you can see the trailer here: